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Carlos "Carlito" Trese, known by the moniker Verdugo, is the firstborn of Anton and Miranda Trese. Wielding the soul-imbued twin swords Parusa and Sentensiya, he is infamous to aswang as a vigilante that hunts the malevolent forces of the Underworld.

Creation and conception[]

Carlos first appeared in The Baptism of Alexandra Trese, both in Miranda Trese's visions as well as in the fight at the Great Balete Tree.

Like all of Alexandra's brothers, Budjette Tan based Carlos' name and personality on one of the four uncles that he grew up with.[1] He has also said that the character is mostly inspired by Julio Valiente, a salakot-wearing movie character portrayed by Lito Lapid.[2]

Character history[]

Early life[]

The Seven Seers saw in their visions that the firstborn of Miranda's six children will become a hunter of the dark.[3] It was said that while in the womb, a manananggal tried to eat him, but he bit off its tongue, and at the age of five, he killed his first aswang.[4]

In his younger years, Carlos was trained in combat by the Metalero, referring to him as Guro, in the way of the Mandirigma.[5] Metalero forged two souls of forgotten heroes into twin swords made out of blessed iron for Carlos to use. Out of caution, Metalero named the weapons Parusa and Sentensiya.[6]

At some point, Carlos gifted Bantay a red bandana inscribed with a Dragon's Gate inside. Sometime later, he went to the Metalero's workshop only to see a dismembered Bantay after he used the bandana to escape the warchildren when they murdered Puti, Dober and Max.[7]

Great Balete Tree Trials[]

During the Great Balete Tree Trials, he joined his family and friends in defending the Great Balete Tree while his sister Alexandra Trese inside was taking the tests in becoming the new Mandirigma-Babaylan. It took three years for Alexandra to come back as Carlos, Matt, and Jimmy continued their battle with the remaining forces of the four aswang tribes in the Underworld.[3]

Boogeyman[]

As the Verdugo, his notoriety reached its peak when he single-handedly defeated the Aswang Nation and beheaded its leader, Arko, on the bridge of the aswang homeland. This splintered the aswang into rival tribes. He became akin to a boogeyman to them. A myth even said that calling out his name six times in the mirror would summon him and he would consequently stitch the summoner into a coin purse.[4]

Barangay Pacifica[]

Carlos giving a toast

While following his lead on taga-dagat hunters, Carlos managed to track Jzun Jzun and Big Beng as they killed two residents of a dorm near Diliman. As they were about to kill a third resident, Janjan Estrella, Carlos intervened and saved her. One of the taga-dagat took a few pills and transmogrificated into a stronger form, but Verdugo still managed to kill him.[8]

Carlos brought the body of the transmogrificated taga-dagat and some of it's pills to Spunky Hontiveros at the Manila City Morgue. He also texted his brother Professor Rick Trese, hoping to have them both investigate the cause of the transformation.[9]

He left to intercept a deal between Mr. Sorbetero and Rakuda, who led four clans of taga-dagat with him. His presence was detected by one of the taga-dagat, compromising his position. Rakuda immediately recognized him as Verdugo and the murderer of Jzun Jzun and Big Beng. Vengeful, the taga-dagat charged at him all at once, taking Shift Pills in the middle of the fight to further their advantage, while Mr. Sorbetero and his aswang bodyguards escaped. Carlos crashed metal crates on a wave of taga-dagat to buy time for him to draw a Dragon's Gate to escape, but a transmogrificated Rakuda survived the crash and bit him as he drank a vial of dragon's blood. This brought them both through the Dragon's Gate into The Diabolical. Hank Sparrow managed to save a bloodied Carlos just in time and called Alexandra Trese for help.[9]

Alexandra performed a healing ritual with help from herbs and tinctures Rick provided, successfully stabilizing Carlos. They exchanged information they had over dinner as soon as he regained consciousness. They decided that Carlos would gather his squad to face the taga-dagat while Alexandra investigates Mr. Sorbetero and Rick looks into the dead taga-dagat Carlos brought into the morgue. Carlos then spent time going to Seepul, Metalero, Bantay, Dolph and Ting, convincing them to help take down the taga-dagat. He got a call from Alexandra, telling him that Barangay Pacifica was under attack by four gangs of taga-dagat, and he and his squad immediately responded.[10]

Hank Sparrow drove Carlos, Bantay and Metalero on Dolph and Ting's boat through the floods while the couple swam close by and Seepul scouted for survivors from the skies. They tried their best to fend of the encroaching taga-dagat, but the creatures eventually capsize the boat and left them surrounded in the waters. Dolph and Ting helped them fend off the creatures and Hank found a small roof for them to stand on. Seepul and Maliksi found them here, bringing more survivors, but the roof was collapsed by taga-dagat from below.[7]

Rakuda, seeking to expediate their sacrifice to Bagyon Yente, ordered his comrades to take Shift Pills and transmogrificate into stronger versions of themselves. With their advantage against Carlos and his squad, Rakuda threatened to kill Carlos as retribution for him killing off his clan. Throwing a weakened Metalero out of the way to get to Carlos, Rakuda started to drown him in the floodwaters. Alexandra, who had just arrived with Amang Paso and the Kambal, noticed the danger her brother is in and throws the Sinag for him to use. Carlos called for the Sinag to save him, and the blade made it's way into Carlos' grip, piercing through Rakuda's torso in the process.[7]

Now weakened, Rakuda orders the taga-dagat to take a second dosage of Shift Pills, calling it Level 3. This made the taga-dagat's flesh gravitate toward his own body, transforming him into a towering monster over Barangay Pacifica. Bantay gave Carlos his bandana, telling him to use the Dragon's Gate to teleport above Rakuda and attack him at his head. Leading the charge, Carlos ordered Seepul and the Kambal to attack Rakuda from behind and told Maliksi to distract him from the front. He also told Alexandra to freeze Rakuda in place using a spell, eventually convincing her even though she was apprehensive to use Alexander Trese's pocketwatch in the process. After Alexandra performed the spell, Carlos immediately used the Dragon's Gate, teleporting above Rakuda and cleaving his head.[7]

As he stood on Rakuda's shoulders, Bagyon Yente appeared and thanked them for helping enact the sacrifice. Confused, Carlos explained that there was no sacrifice being done, but the Bagyon explained that she was given permission by Datu Karagatan and the Madame to collect the souls of 400 taga-dagat. She began consuming the souls by striking down lightning at Rakuda's shoulders, knocking Carlos away. Fortunately, Seepul swooped in to catch him and fly him to safety.[7]

After the battle, Alexandra used her healing ritual again to help everyone recover from their injuries. Hank invited everyone back into The Diabolical for a celebratory meal, where the members started to discuss what their squad's name should be. but Alexandra warned Carlos that the looming threat of the Madame might demand his and his squad's help once again. Carlos accepted this, toasting everyone at the table for the honor of fighting beside them again. Moments later, he received a call that told him of a the Cult of Lagim stole a shipment of Middle Eastern artifacts, and that the order was from a holding company owned by the Madame. He immediately told Maliksi this information, asking to relay it to Alexandra.[7]

Queen of the Night[]

Main article: Verdugo: Takutan

Following Carlos' investigation of Teresita Sala's suicide, he smashed every aswang den in Manila to know the location of the perpetrators, the Arko Triplets. Eventually, it led him to an Ebony farm in Caloocan. He was greeted there by several aswangs like the mabangis, mailap, and one magubat. The aswangs were all decimated as he came prepared with tools in killing them. He was able to find the Arko Triplets (Mons, Mete, and Stan) and brutally cut them up. Before they could heal, he stitched all their parts together. Their "puke" and "piss" even leaked from their brains.

Hours later, Alexandra was able to convince his brother to pursue a diplomatic approach in holding the House of Arko accountable. They were asked to surrender their weapons as they entered the place. Carlos immediately tried to save a woman who was being attacked by an aswang. Alexandra stopped him and told him that the woman was a subservient of the aswang who hit her. Mama Grande greeted the Trese siblings and offered a meal before doing business. She introduced her ally subservients and aswangs before serving their meal harvested from an abortion clinic. Alexandra then proceeded to discuss the harm done by Mama Grande's children to Tere. Grande and her other son Gog were able to argue that they did not violate the Agreements. As Alexandra was left speechless and thinking, Carlos revealed what he did earlier. This triggered Gog who tried to kill Carlos. He was able to catch the aswang and bit off his eye. Gog was unable to heal his missing eye after it was revealed that Carlos had blessed iron dentures. He then spat Gog's eye and added it to his necklace that collected one eye each from the triplets. Carlos wished that he could complete his set with an eye from the youngest child of Mama Grande. She then threatened to kill every single human in the place and bombard the city with the Ebony drug. Carlos responded by showing a video of the stitched Arko Triplets. Everyone in the room was disgusted as they watched from their phones to see the online video. He called his masterpiece, "Retribution", and revealed that it was actually a live video, to which the terrified Mama Grande asked for mercy. Carlos then circled back to a myth about him, daring anyone to call his name and be stitched into a coin purse. The two siblings left the place. They argued about the the consequences and the bigger picture if Carlos continues doing what he does. Alexandra was able to convince Carlos to reveal the location of the Arko Triplets. He then smoked near the Kambal, who asked why they didn't just go in with guns blazing. Carlos thought about Tere and told the Kambal that there are not enough bullets to kill all the aswang. He concluded with his solution, which was to strike fear into the aswangs.[4]

Abilities and equipment[]

As a mandirigma, Carlos is a very skilled warrior. He is capable of overwhelming multiple opponents in melee combat as well as accomplishing great physical feats such as surviving falls from a great height. He uses a plethora of weapons and equipment in his adventures:

  • Parusa and Sentensiya, blades made of blessed iron that function in both melee combat as well as ranged weapons when thrown. Forged with the souls of forgotten heroes, the blades glow and impart the need to kill unto the wielder whenever aswang are near.[6] The blades can also be telekinetically commanded after calling their names, returning back to the user's hand.[8]
  • Dentures made of blessed iron.[4]
  • A kris similar in appearance to the Sinag.[8]

Trivia[]

References[]

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